Tuesday, February 27, 2018


The real world activities of this month have definitely kept me busy to say the least, meaning that I think that I can get this next posting out to you just under the wire. In just a few days, my annual personal Superbowl will air once again for the 90th Academy Awards and now, I should toss out my Oscar predictions for you before the telecast itself is over and done for another year.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mary J. Blige ("Mudbound"); Allison Janney ("I, Tonya"), Lesley Manville ("Phantom Thread"), Laurie Metcalf ("Lady Bird"), Octavia Spencer ('The Shape Of Water")
SHOULD WIN: Octavia Spencer
WILL WIN: Allison Janney
-In full disclosure, I have only seen three out of the five nominated performances and while the three I saw were all excellent, the one I responded to the most was Octavia Spencer's superb work in Guillermo del Toro's strangely beautiful adult fable. That being said, Allison Janney (whose work I have not seen) is seemingly the one to beat, as far as previous awards ceremonies have elapsed. So, I just think that Oscar will follow suit here.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Willem Dafoe ("The Florida Project"), Woody Harrelson ("Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"), Richard Jenkins ("The Shape Of Water"), Christopher Plummer ("All The Money In The World"), Sam Rockwell ("Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri")
SHOULD WIN: Richard Jenkins
WILL WIN: Sam Rockwell
-Again, with the patterns already set in motion through the previous awards given this season, I think this is Sam Rockwell's category to lose. And while he did indeed give a fully commanding performance in an astoundingly ill conceived role, I would be thrilled if Richard Jenkins' beautiful performance would sneak away with the prize.

MERYL STREEP AND FOUR OTHER WOMEN: Sally Hawkins ("The Shape Of Water"), Frances McDormand ("Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"), Margot Robbie ("I, Tonya"), Saoirse Ronan ("Lady Bird"), Meryl Streep ("The Post")
SHOULD WIN: Sally Hawkins
WILL WIN: Frances McDormand
-Well, at least Ms. Streep's obligatory nomination this year was justified in her richly nuanced, subtly powerful work in Steven Spielberg's "The Post," but no, she is not going to win again this year. As with the previous two categories, I do believe that this is Frances McDormand's category to lose, especially when you contrast her explosive work with that of Sally Hawkins' silent performance in "The Shape Of Water," something that would carry an extra weight in our #MeToo era--an unrepentant voice of rage compared with one that is m ore romantic and to that end, mute.

But trust me, dear readers. Silence does not equate itself with weakness in this case as Sally Hawkins' performance is resoundingly brilliant and so magically multi-layered as to display passion, fury, determination, courageousness, sexual desire and release, honor, sacrifice and a delirious romanticism, all without speaking one word...and yet, she is unquestionably heard from beginning to end. For me, no one else reached the heights of Hawkins' work, so I am rooting for her.

BEST ACTOR: Timothee Chalamet ("Call Me By Your Name"), Daniel Day-Lewis ("Phantom Thread"), Daniel Kaluuya ('Get Out"), Gary Oldman ("Darkest Hour"), Denzel Washington ("Roman J. Israel, Esq.")
SHOULD WIN: Daniel Kaluuya
WILL WIN: Gary Oldman
-Again, it feels as if this is Gary Oldman's category to lose and if he does, it is indeed stiff competition, especially from Chalamet, who deserves to be in this category just from his final scene in the film alone to the peerless Denzel Washington, who created another inimitable figure yet for a so-so movie, the equally peerless Day-Lewis in his final, fully three dimensional work, and most of all, Daniel Kaluuya, in a bone deep haunting performance in my favorite film of 2017.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green ("Logan"), James Ivory ("Call Me By Your Name"), Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber ("The Disaster Artist"), Aaron Sorkin ("Molly's Game"), Virgil Williams & Dee Rees ("Mudbound")
SHOULD WIN: James Ivory
WILL WIN: James Ivory
-For me, what James Ivory achieved in his screenplay was absolutely exquisite as he wrote a film that as much about language, time, Summer and memory as it does the various states of budding sexuality and the existential pain that arrives with the full coming of age.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird"), Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani, Martin McDonough ("Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"), Jordan Peele ("Get Out"), Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa  Taylor ("The Shape Of Water")
SHOULD WIN: Jordan Peele
WILL WIN: Jordan Peele
-With all due respect to the writers of "The Shape Of Water" and especially, the astounding "The Big Sick," they key for me in this category has always been the word "original." And for me, the most original screenplay was what Jordan Peele conceived with "Get Out," a film the likes of which I have never seen before. There's no way "Get Out" will win Best Picture, but I think this will be the way to acknowledge its audaciousness and brilliance.

BEST DIRECTOR: Paul Thomas Anderson ("Phantom Thread"), Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird"), Christopher Nolan ("Dunkirk"), Jordan Peele ("Get Out"), Guillermo del Toro ("The Shape Of Water")
SHOULD WIN: Jordan Peele
WILL WIN: Guillermo del Toro
-Always the most ill conceived category because, and once more with feeling, I just think that if the film is nominated for Best Picture, then the Director should be nominated!  That said, it is what it is. Anywhoo, since my favorite film of the year is "Get Out," I'd be thrilled if Peele won. but, I do think that this is the chance for "The Shape Of Water" to take a giant prize.

BEST PICTURE: "Call Me By Your Name," "Darkest Hour," "Dunkirk," "Get Out," "Lady Bird," "Phantom Thread," "The Post," "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," "The Shape Of Water"
WILL WIN: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
-I really hope this does not happen and that "The Shape Of Water" grabs the top award.

As it stands, in the two movies that I have listed, the one that I would pick to win as it was my favorite film of 2017 and the other film, the one I proclaimed as my least favorite film of the year (yes, I hated that movie), we have the films that really seem to represent life in 21st century America if you really think about it. I realize that "Get Out" does not have a chance but it really feels as if the momentum is behind "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," which is a shame as it is a sloppily written and executed feature.

We shall see on Sunday, March 4th...stay tuned....

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